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About Margaret

Baltimore City

Margaret Rorison's picture
Margaret Rorison is filmmaker and curator from Baltimore, MD.  Her short films are intuitive investigations into urban and corporeal landscapes, the process of aging, memory, and concepts of absence. Her work has always been interested in the potentials of storytelling through the use of 16mm projection and sound, often collaborating with sound artists, exploring ways in which the image and machine can converse. Her practice is dedicated to the preservation of knowledge and community of... more

Margaret Rorison

Memory of August

Memory of August 
2016 | 16mm | 6m | sound

A series of moments captured in room 139. Intimate spaces of time spent with my grandmother, Margaret during a month long recovery in a rehabilitation center in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Special Jury Award for Best Experimental Short, New Orleans Film Festival, 2017 
Edinburgh International Film Festival, International Premiere, 2017 

One Document for Hope

One Document for Hope
2015 | 16mm to digital | B/W | sound | 8m

The sterile and procedural narrative of the Baltimore City Police Scanner recorded on Monday April 27 against precious moments of gathering, celebration and protest in Baltimore from April 28 – May 3, 2015.
Documentation: Margaret Rorison 
Thanks to Karl Ekdahl for providing the BCP scanner recordings. 
Baltimore, Maryland 2015

Select Screenings & Exhibitions 
The National Gallery of Art, January, 2018

Made in Baltimore Short Film Festival, The Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD (Winner, Second Prize);  "A Bleak Reality" curated by Tomonari Nishikawa, Uplink Theater, Tokyo; 2017 Montreal Underground Film Festival; 2017 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival; Athens International Film & Video Festival Juror Screening, Athens, OH, 2017; Abigail DeVille's “Only When It's Dark Enough Can You See the Stars”, The Peale Museum, Baltimore, MD, 2016 Maryland Film Festival, Baltimore, MD 2016; Athens International Film and Video Festival, Athens, OH; Sondheim Semi-Finalist Exhibition, Decker Gallery, 2015 

Die Leute von Lichtenberg

During a three week residency at Lichtenberg Studios in former East Berlin, I made a series of pencil and gouache drawings of various notable citizens who lived in Lichtenberg, Berlin throughout the years. The portraits include anti-Nazi fighters, former Stasi members, a nurse, actors, and members of the Social Democratic Party.

The drawings were hung in a public park across the street from the studio and Lichtenberg Museum, an area that is notable for it’s complex and violent past.

  • "The Nurse"

    The Nurse, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "Dr. Jur"

    "Dr. Jur" pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "Hedwig"

    Hedwig, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "Friedrich"

    Friedrich, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "Joachim"

    Joachim, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "George"

    George, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016
  • "Erlich"

    Erlich, pencil, gouache, and charcoal, 24” X 36”, 2016

Lichtenberg Landscape

A series of hand processed 35mm black and white photographs taken during a residency at Lichtenberg Studios in Berlin, Germany, December 2016.  These photographs focus on the layers of historical trauma, industry that embed the landscape of Lichtenberg, Berlin. 

PULL/DRIFT

PULL/DRIFT is a project that evolved into many parts. 

In 2013,  Clarissa Stowell Gregory and Joshua Wade Smith collaborated on dance & sculpture for a performance involving: water, woods and raft. Clarissa & Joshua created the site-specific performance PULL / DRIFT on September 8th at Patapsco Valley State Park, Daniels Area.

For six months, Baltimore photographers/filmmakers Liz Donadio, Carr Kizzier, and myself documented the evolution and execution of this site-specific performance, which finalized in a gallery exhibition, Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream at Gallery CA from December 6 2013 - January 10, 2014.

The documentation that I captured from the dance performance became a 16mm film with a live sound accompaniment by sound artist, Josh Millrod. This piece premiered at Mono No Aware Festival of Expanded Cinema in December of 2013. 

Throughout my documentation process of Pull/Drift, I focused on the flow of the human form and its relationship to its surrounding environments. I was interested in discovering a dialogue between limbs and hips, the curves of the land, the mechanics of flesh, the rhythmic channeling through water, grass and earth. I was captivated by how the development of motion sculptured a new sense of time and established a magical sense of ritualistic bliss.

  • Morph

    archival pigment print from 120 bw negative film
  • Spawn

    archival pigment print from 120 bw negative film
  • PULL/DRIFT, Gathering a Pitch of Meaning

    archival pigment print from 120 bw negative film
  • PULL/DRIFT, 35mm

    Documentation of PULL/DRIFT a live performance at MICA's Cohen Plaza July 2013
  • Pull/Drift, 35mm

    Documentation of PULL/DRIFT live performance at MICA's Cohen Plaza July 2013
  • Gallery CA installation view

    Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream Gallery CA December 6th 2013 - January 10th, 2014 Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream is a collection of photographs, video, and film from the sculpture-dance performance Pull / Drift - a collaboration between choreographer Clarissa Gregory and sculptor Joshua Wade Smith. For six months, Baltimore artists Liz Donadio, Carr Kizzier, and Margaret Rorison documented the evolution and execution of this site-specific performance, that took place September 8th, 2013 at Patapsco Valley State Park's Daniels Area.
  • Gallery CA installation view

    Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream Gallery CA December 6th 2013 - January 10th, 2014 Pull / Drift: In the Slipstream is a collection of photographs, video, and film from the sculpture-dance performance Pull / Drift - a collaboration between choreographer Clarissa Gregory and sculptor Joshua Wade Smith. For six months, Baltimore artists Liz Donadio, Carr Kizzier, and Margaret Rorison documented the evolution and execution of this site-specific performance, that took place September 8th, 2013 at Patapsco Valley State Park's Daniels Area.
  • PULL/DRIFT

    PULL/DRIFT is a collaborative project that evolved into many parts. In 2013, Clarissa Stowell Gregory and Joshua Wade Smith collaborated on dance & sculpture for a performance involving: water, woods and raft.

vindmøller

vindmøller
2014 | 16mm | 3m | sound

This short film is a study of the monolithic wind turbines along the shores of Amager, Copenhagen. Triple exposed on one roll of color film, then finding four generations of grain. The soundtrack is a recorded live-improvisation by artist Mario de Vega using unstable media and acoustic resonators

Winner of ORWO Award for Best Cinematography, 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2015

DER SPAZIERGANG

DER SPAZIERGANG
2013 | 16mm | 3m | sound

The film is shot on one 100' roll of 16mm color film, all of which was composed and shot in-camera. The film is made of up single frames taken during extensive walks throughout the layered historical landscape of Berlin, Germany in April 2013. 

The title, DER SPAZIERGANG (The Walk)  comes from a story by German-Swiss writer, Robert Walser.

SCANSION

SCANSION
2014 | 16mm | 7m | sound

“…in complete consciousness I understood what for me walking travel and cinema had in common. Sometimes I preferred walking, that is to say, talk
ing with my legs over speaking, which is to say, walking with my mouth- but basically, it’s the same thing”
-Serge Daney

SCANSION is a short 16mm film composed of extensive walks through various Baltimore landscapes. The film has been hand edited like a poem, where cuts function like line breaks, working to establish inherent rhythm and meter.

This documentation is an installation of my short film, running on a continuous loop with an accompanying surround sound speaker installation. The soundtrack has been compiled of field recordings taken on my walks through Baltimore City. Additional sound by C. Spencer Yeh and Lea Bertucci, voice by Kelly Laughlin.

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Margaret's Curated Collection

View Margaret's favorite works from other Baker Artists